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A controversial Port Macquarie development proposal, scrutinised in a recent ABC Four Corners report investigating the Obeid family's coastal property interests, has been rejected.

Source : PortMac.News | Citizen :

Source : PortMac.News | Citizen | News Story:

Port Macquarie : Obeid family coastal development rejected
A controversial Port Macquarie development proposal, scrutinised in a recent ABC Four Corners report investigating the Obeid family's coastal property interests, has been rejected.

News Story Summary:

The Obeids have not put their name to the Pacific Drive project and the head of development company Laurus Projects told Four Corners that the Obeid family had no involvement in the proposed 68-unit complex. 

Eleven speakers, mostly nearby residents, registered to speak at the public meeting of the Northern Regional Planning Panel on Thursday and all were opposed to the development.

'Visual pollution'

"From my perspective the building will be an eyesore, it's too high," Krissa Wilkinson said.

"Allowing a development of this size and density to go ahead here will set an unwanted precedent for similar high-rise developments all along our coastal strip," Ed Coleman said.

Lyndal Narin said the development would lead to the area becoming "something like the Gold Coast", while Carole Field described it as "visual pollution of the worst kind".

"The visual beauty of the area will be lost forever," she said.

Malcolm McNeil, who represented a group of concerned local architects, told the panel they did not normally make a habit of criticising other projects but felt so strongly about Laurus development that they had to make an exception.

"It's our opinion that the proposed development does not support the existing and desired unique character of Port Macquarie," he said.

"The entry ramps and stairs are just a shambles as far as we're concerned."

Fears for koalas, privacy

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council's Deputy Mayor and mayoral candidate, Lisa Intemann, addressed the panel as an individual not as a councillor.

"We must be very careful to ensure that this does not, in fact, present a precedent in terms of, for instance, the height exceedence," she said.

"It's a wall of eight storeys, full of glazing, overlooking the neighbours and so therefore representing privacy difficulties.

"And in terms of koalas — there are 25 trees to be removed, native and non-native — this is known as a koala travelling route."

Unanimous rejection

After about 45 minutes of deliberation and an earlier site inspection, the panel's chair, Paul Mitchell, ran through the eight reasons why the proposal was unanimously rejected.

Among those reasons stated were loss of privacy, overshadowing to the west and south, and the development's bulky building form.

"There will be unsatisfactory visual impacts from key lookouts, especially the coastal walkway and Pacific Drive which are both important to both residents and tourists," he said.

Mr Mitchell said the proposal was inconsistent with the coastal management SEPP, citing two clauses specifically, because of adverse impacts on the visual amenity and scenic quality of the coast.

Story By | Luisa Rubbo

This News Story's Author : Staff-Editor-02

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